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Eileen Mary Kane
Connecticut College (New London, CT 06320-4125)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2010 – 12/31/2010

Russian Hajj: Imperialism and the Pilgrimage to Mecca, 1801-1917

This book project explores Russian sponsorship of the hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, between the mid-nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. Drawing on a multidisciplinary body of secondary literature and new archival research in Arabic, French, German, Russian, and various Turkic sources, this book is a pioneering attempt to understand how the tsarist regime managed the global dimensions of Islam. It considers Russia's hajj policy in comparison to that of other European imperial regimes and in the context of global European imperial rivalries, particularly in the disintegrating Ottoman Empire. The analysis highlights the importance of Russia's conquest of Muslim borderlands to understanding nineteenth-century Russian imperialism, and the book argues that Russia used the hajj to extend influence abroad in the period between the Crimean War and the First World War.